Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Career Chat

I wrote this poem last year whilst in the middle of arguing with the family about my chosen life path.  Though it was inspired by my own experience, don't worry, Dad - this isn't supposed to be you and me ; ) 
I wrote this poem to be read aloud but unfortunately I don't yet have a good youtube version of its recital.  So for now, I suggest you read it out loud and have fun acting out the father/son parts!  Enjoy!  

The Career Chat 
By Mark Ayling 
My dad took me aside today
To have a chat about my career
We sat down in his study
And he poured us each a beer

He took one sip from his glass
Then he cut right to the chase
He spoke to me in a serious tone
As he looked me in the face

Son, since you’ve finished school
All you do each day is think
You say you want to write a book
But your pen is full of ink

You’ve been reading lots of books
But I think it would behoove
You to stop thinking so much
And finally make a career move

I mean – did you really go to school
Just to work at a cafe?
When you could be a Wall Street banker
With a Harvard MBA?

And you live on the wrong side of town!
Your flat is a disgrace!
How the hell could you bring a girl
To such a low-rent kind of place?

Your friends are moving on
And you’ve fallen far behind
Ah! To think of all you could have been!
Yet you choose to waste your mind!

Well, I finished up my beer
I shook my head and sighed
And to my father’s sermon
I casually replied,

Yes, I’ve got a good degree
And my pick of fine careers
But the more I contemplate
The more complicated life appears

For I could have been a banker
But I would have been a thief
And I could have worked at an NGO
But that wouldn’t stop the grief

I could have been the President
But power does corrupt
And I could have worked for the CIA

But my conscience would erupt

I could have been a doctor
But blood just makes me faint
And I could have been a salesman
But that’s just what I ain’t

I could have been a soldier
Takin’ orders from the Top Brass
But within one month I’d be AWOL
And they’d be lookin’ for my ass

Or I could have been a lawyer
And get paid all day to lie
And I could have been a CPA
But I think I’d rather die

As prestigious as they are
These jobs are not for me
No, my mind seeks understanding
Not financial security

Besides, I don’t think too much
– The world don’t think enough!
Everyone just wants more cash
So they can buy more stuff!

So pursuing a career
Will only serve to distract
I’d rather bring my peers back down to earth
And show them all the facts

The facts?!? The facts?!?
Son, you’re too damn pensive!
You may have thought a lot
But you’ve forgot that life’s expensive!

So, yes, I could have read more books
Or even wrote a poem
But it wasn’t the ‘bohemian’ life
That paid for this here home

So, son, don’t you fret
The world ain’t gonna end
And life is not too complex
For you to comprehend

Life is actually quite simple:
It’s about baseball, sex, and beer
And it takes cash for all of that
– Make sure you have that clear

Just find yourself a job,
One that pays you well,
And don’t think too much about these things,
Lest you want to live in Hell.

Well I knew he had a point
But my heart could not admit
That They were right and I was wrong
So all I said was – Shit!

...Maybe you are right
Maybe I have been over-thinking
Maybe I should just get a job
Before I turn to heavy drinking

Maybe I should settle down
Find me a wife and kids
Start playin’ me some golf
And slide into the family biz

I could turn on the TV
Turn off the problems of the world
And forget about about all the thoughts
That my thinking has unfurled

But life just ain’t so simple
I can’t will my thoughts to stop
If I could see in black and white
Then I would have been a cop

And I don’t want to be a banker
I just want to be myself
Man’s path in life is not something
You can chose from off a shelf

So thanks for the advice,
But I’m afraid it don’t pertain
For I can’t save the world with cash
I can only use my brain

I’ll take the path less trodden
Though I know that most men don’t
But I’ve got the stars to guide me
While I’m rowing my own boat...

...Dad, I don’t ask for much,
Just that I may walk alone
I might end up rich...or in a ditch,
But I must find out on my own. 


  1. Tell daddy "Riosko makuti" as we say in Porto Guadnejo.

  2. Your never alone, God is always with you through thick and thin. Money doesn't bring happiness, your right about that. God is the only thing that brings satisfaction.

  3. El camino menos transitado.. Frost was right.. Es curioso que hace dos días tuviera exactamente una conversación muy muy parecida con mi padre. Y mientras mi padre me hablaba, mi mente divagaba sobre qué frase tatuarme "the road less traveled"; "into the wild" o simplemente "dharma bum".

  4. Hey I'm Deepika, friend of Deepika you met in India. I came across this poem at such a critical point in my life since i am too in the midst of reasoning the same things out with my dad who thinks i can live a large life getting a fancy job in a fancy place, but all i can think of is all the things you just wrote and more. It's wonderful to know that i'm not the only unnecessarily over pensive one around and there is someone who not only thinks the same but also puts it in words so effortlessly and straight. Good luck with all your adventures. Stop for nothing and before you know it, you will have made the world for yourself, an easier place to discover.

  5. Once I was having chat with some professionals on international forum regarding career growth. They told me that not only in my country but all over the world growth is too low now days. If you are looking for a better career you need to visit where experts have given their opinions of choosing better profession for you as well as helping you to make better resume.